Joe South, Singer And Writer of Hit Songs, Dies at 72

Joe South Singer And Writer of Hit Songs Dies at 72

Joe South, a singer-songwriter who wove confrontational lyrics into bouncy pop hits of the late 1960s and early ’70s, including β€œGames People Play,” β€œWalk a Mile in My Shoes” and β€œ(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden,” died on Wednesday at home in Flowery Branch, Ga., north of Atlanta. He was 72.

The cause was apparently a heart attack, said Judy Thompson, a longtime friend.

Mr. South’s best-known song became a hit when it was recorded by someone else. β€œRose Garden,” sung by Lynn Anderson, reached No. 3 on the Billboard pop chart in 1971, four years after Mr. South wrote it. The chorus β€” β€œI beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden/Along with the sunshine there’s gotta be a little rain sometime” β€” reflected a world-weariness characteristic of his writing.

In 1969 he targeted religion and insincerity in β€œGames People Play,” which thrust him toward stardom:

People walking up to you

Singing glory hallelujah,

And they’re tryin’ to sock it to you

In the name of the Lord.

Source: New York Times

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